A Curly Tale: TACCOC Hampton Downs

November 9, 2014

 

Promise of decent weather and an old fashioned ‘quick-fire’ race schedule attracted the biggest group of old fart Formula Fords to be assembled together for some time. Firstly a big welcome to newcomers to our happy little band – Geoff Bogue (ex Brownlie/Fraser Lola  – blue #36), and Gavin Aleksich who has purchased the white/red #55 Mondiale that Dave Silverton originally imported and Mike Lee subsequently ran. It was great seeing these new faces, and wonderful to see Harold Phillips looking so well after some of his health challenges this year – really hope to see you back in your exquisite Lola soon Harold. Also brilliant to see Graham Main looking fit after his recent scare.

 

Speaking of Lolas – the bloody things are everywhere, mostly driven by Taurangaians but great to also see Keith Jones out again. Chris Fraser tried convincing everyone his car was better prepped than ever before a race but when the fuel went in, it came straight out – so scratch a Lola while other cars had turned but refused to cooperate in the form a black Reynard that wouldn’t start (bad luck John Pickford), the Crossle of Don Hopkins while after just one lap in race one, Dave’s PRS was out for the day. My specially trained mechanical ear detected a head gasket – and if I’m right, getting to Manfeild should be a piece of cake.

 

And so to the racing – Tony Graham has not slowed down and was easily fastest of the more modern cars. Phil Foulkes led the way in the class 1 cars with Tony Cross and Gerald Duncan squaring off for next best. Gerald has made quite a stride towards the sharp end and continues to personalise the car with new a new number and font. Behind them was arguably the best scraps through all three races. Ron Wilkin really had the Elden going well and was chased hard in race 1 by Keith Mainland in the ex-Richard Cullen #79 VD. His stated aim for the day was to “get into the 15s” – his best previous time having been a 16.1. Ron and Keith put on a great show with Ron using his greater experience to hold the VD out. They recorded identical fastest laps – but Keith failed in the quest to do ‘a 15’ by doing a 14.9.

 

In race 2 they were at it again and Keith slipped by going into the sweeper on the last lap. Tony Cross had stopped on the very outside of the sweeper  meaning the yellow flag was being waved and correctly observed by Ron…but not by the VD driver. The Tauranga Lolas ran nose to tail in race 3, Keith Jones went quicker and quicker while Gavin and Geoff had smiles wide enough to suggest they’ll be coming out to play more often. No cars were hurt and there would seem to be a fair number of us heading down to Manfeild.

 

So some prizes for our TACCOC Spring meeting field of Formula 1 hopefuls:

 

  • The Clay Regazzoni Award for the most blatant jump start of 2014 (thus far) goes to Gerald Duncan
  • The Gilles Villeneuve Award for getting the car most sideways goes to Phil Foulkes – but only just from Tony Graham
  • The Vittorio Brambilla Award for colour blindness goes to Keith Mainland
  • Biggest improvement in one meeting….Keith again – from a 16.1 to a 14.1…
  • Most consistent line of every lap – Lindsay Porter and Keith Jones – a tie
  • Best presented car; a guarantee to make me unpopular but what do I care? Bernie Hines – green Lola #221…bloody gorgeous

 

Rumours from the day

 

  • Tony is still considering introducing the concept of paint to the 85 Reynard
  • Peter Boel is well on the way to having the Lotus 51B back on the track after the wee incident at the Car-breaker
  • We will have another Crossle on the grid for the Howden Ganley Festival meetings

TACCOC Events

FYI – Both TACCOC events listed on the race calendar in October and November are going to be ONE day events.

The Spring Meeting will be on Saturday October 6th only.  (Bathurst is the next day so there were no available marshals)

The Spring Classic will be on Sunday November 4th only.

TACCOC October Spring Classic

The TACCOC Spring Classic saw a fine mid-spring day at Pukekohe Raceway.  The Historic Formula Ford’s only had ten cars entered for this meeting, eight Class I cars, and two Class II cars.  Making their season debut’s were Bruce McCoy (#13 Lola T342), Michael Clark (#32 Crossle 32F), and Phil Foulkes (#22 Van Diemen RF85).

 

Practise / qualification saw a spread of 7 seconds across the nine cars that took to the track.  Mike Lee (#55 Mondiale M86S) pounded out 11 laps around Puke’, setting the pole time of 1:10.526.

 

Race 1 was over 8-laps, and was eventually won by Foulkes in a rampant 9:25.771, setting fastest lap for the weekend of 1:08.527 in the process, but not before a short battle with Dave Silverton (#43 PRS), who just 0.102 seconds adrift of Foulkes at the line, with Foulkes only taking the lead on the final lap.  Mike Lee, whom had led for a period of the race, finished third 2.397 seconds behind Foulkes, but comfortably ahead of another tight grouping of three cars featuring Mike Creswell (#7 Lola T342), Vic Clarke (#911 Palliser WDF3) and Graham Dickie (#191 Begg FM3) whom were spread by a mere 0.873 seconds at the line.

 

Race 2, again over 8-laps was comfortably won by Silverton, finishing 13.533 seconds up on Michael Clark; himself only 0.201 seconds ahead of Foulkes in third.  Vic Clarke and Graham Begg again finished within a blink of each other (0.06 seconds), with Ron Wilkin (#72 Elden PRH10) on their coat-tails, just 0.6-seconds behind them.

 

Race 3 was once more  a Siverton victory, this time by 8.516 seconds.  Silverton also set the Class I fastest lap in this race, with a 1:08.826.  Foulkes raced home in second with a handy 4.5-second gap to Mike Creswell, who had his best placing of the weekend in third.  Creswell however had Michael Clark right on his exhaust pipe, a mere 0.205-secs behind in fourth.  Fifth was Mike Lee, whilst Ron Wilkin and Vic Clarke crossed the line in sixth and seventh respectively separated by a scant 0.014-seconds…

 

The Class leaders have changed around this weekend, with Dave Silverton taking charge in Class I, and Mike Lee moving atop the Class II table.

 

The next meeting is November 6 at Hampton Downs.  Entries at motorsportentry.com